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What are the levels of IT Support?

What are the levels of IT Support?

IT support, also known as 'technical support,' is simply a service that supports those using technology products or services. In the workplace, this can range from an employee using a desktop or printer, to manufacturing plants relying on complicated servers to manage their machinery. But unlike engineering, IT support is specifically geared toward helping with specific user problems and issues (For example, employees having difficulty accessing a program or retrieving data).


If you’re on the hunt for the best IT company in Houston and wondering if you need monthly IT support, our expert guide will walk you through the five tiers of IT support so you know what services are right for you.


Key Terms


  • IT services are also known as 'help desk,' 'service desk,' and 'IT support.'


  • Internal IT support teams help employees when they are facing technical issues or difficulties. These are also called 'in-house IT support services.'


  • External-facing support teams help customers and users of technology systems. These refer to IT support personnel who are not employees of your business and are 'outsourced' or 'managed IT services.'


The Five IT Support Tiers


IT support is structured around levels or tiers (depending on the organization) to designate how a level of support:


  • Addresses customer needs

  • Quickly resolves small or minor issues

  • Establishes timelines and protocols for more advanced problems

  • Creates a positive customer experience

  • Improves employee training, upward mobility, and retention


When you’re looking for IT support, you can generally find it in some variation of these levels:


Tier 0


This level of support functions in a self-help manner with user-retrieved information. It’s the lowest level of IT support, relying primarily on users retrieving support information from the internet via web pages or apps. 


This can include FAQs, blog posts, manuals, and other search functions. The main point here is this level of support does not involve IT staff in any way.


You may also see this in the form of crowdsource solutions, such as web forms, social contact through social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), and customer forums. Moderators of forums may respond or Tier 1 personnel respond to requests.


Tier 1


This is operated by a lower level of technical personnel, functioning as a basic help desk and service desk solution. Tier 1 staff are trained to solve known issues and fulfill service requests by following a script, rather than their own critical-thinking skills or expertise.


This level of support is best for solving usage problems and fulfilling service desk requests that need IT involvement. Issues can be escalated to Tier 2 personnel.


Tier 2


This tier is for more in-depth technical support, with experienced and knowledgeable support technicians assessing issues and providing solutions for problems that exceed the capabilities of Tier 1 staff. 


These staff members have a deep knowledge of the product or service but are not necessarily the engineers or programmers who designed it. Any issues that exceed Tier 2 capabilities are transferred up to Tier 3 staff.


Tier 3


These specialists offer expert product and service support. They are the most highly-skilled product specialists and may include chief architects, engineers, or creators of the product or service. With this tier, you have access to the highest technical resources available for the problem.


Tier 4


Tier 4 covers outside support for problems not supported by your organization. These are outsourced personnel who may not work directly for the program or technology services you’re utilizing but have a wide range of in-depth knowledge of these systems and products.


Tier 4 personnel provide contracted support for items provided by but not directly serviced by the organization, such as:


  • Printer support

  • Vendor software support

  • Depot support

  • Machine maintenance

  • And other outsourced services


What Support Level Does My Company Need?


There is a lot of discussion in the IT support space about whether or not the tiered or level system is actually the most effective or user-friendly. Often, it leaves your staff who need support frustrated, having to restate their issue to multiple personnel or left waiting for the issue to escalate up the tier ranks.


This is why many businesses are opting to 'skip the line' with outsourced IT services. Why outsource IT support? Because companies like us at Xvand offer Tier 4 support to you right away. We offer full IT outsourcing solutions so you can focus on growing your business and daily operations while we handle the tech. 


Are you ready to streamline your technology’s efficiency, have employees who feel trained and supported, and have optimal security? Contact us today for your free estimate!


Andrey Sherman

Andrey Sherman

Andrey Sherman serves as Xvand’s vice president of technology and is one of the company’s co-founders. He is the leading architect of the Xvand system.


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